Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has again decried the dearth of effective political leadership in Nigeria.
Such effective leadership, when identified, Wike said, should place service above self and work to secure enduring development for the people and the country.
Wike made the observation at the inauguration of the dualised Ogbunuabali-Eastern Bypass Road that was performed by the former Governor of Sokoto State, Senator Aliyu Wamakko, yesterday.
The governor noted how wrong it is for people to think that leadership is a function of political party, when it is actually about the mind-set of the individual.
“Leadership is not about party, leadership is about individual. Party is only a vehicle to actualise your ambition, to be able to tell your people I have this capacity, I have this quality to render services to you. If take me away today from PDP to another party, I will still perform. So, it is not because I’m in PDP that I’m performing.
“It is because I have that passion for my people. It is because I have the commitment to serve my people. Take me to YPP, allow me to become whatever I will become there, I will perform. Take me to any party, I will perform. So, it is not party that makes you to perform.”
Wike stated that his undying love, passion and commitment to render effective service to Rivers people have sufficiently differentiated him from other politicians.
That is why, he asserted, there was a sustained commitment to add value to life, impact change with the infrastructure revolution and make the state better.
Wike said while others had used the economic hardship as excuse not to render leadership and service to their people, he found a more rewarding way to sustain the delivery of projects in Rivers.
He took a swipe at certain misguided politicians of the state extraction who misconceived his assertion on Monday that he was in charge of the state.
“Because some people went to school late, they don’t understand when somebody says I am in charge of this state. I never said I am in charge of votes in this state. But I know I can talk to my people and my people will listen to me. Some people say, I have only one vote, I agree. I can’t vote two times. I will only vote once. But because of the services I have rendered to the people of this state, the state will listen to me.
“Someone called me last night and said people are complaining that Nigerian economy is dying, the hardship is becoming too much, but every day we are commissioning projects and flagging-off new ones in Rivers State, am I not in this same Nigeria? I told him that the amount of money you have is not important, what is important is your passion to serve and your love for your people because leadership is about the passion to serve your people.
“If you are committed to the job and you love your people, no matter the small money you are getting, you would be able to do something for people to see and appreciate.
The governor took a swipe at some politicians in Rivers State who he described as scavengers for their inability to use their closeness to the seat of power to attract government projects and programmes to their people.
“Some people claimed that they are close to those in government, there is nothing wrong in being close those in authority, but the question is, what have your people benefited from your closeness to those in government? Let them tell us.
“May God forgive me that I will be close to a president or vice president and my people cannot boast of anything to show for it, I don’t want to be close to any president or vice president that my people would not benefit from,” the governor stated.
The governor stated that he had remained a consistent politician, not playing double game, and urged Rivers people to be happy that they have a governor who will always defend the state.
Wike thanked the people of Ogbunuabali for their cooperation while the project lasted even if they had initially rejected it.
He used the occasion to lift the ban on youths’ activities in Ogbunuabali community, and announced the release of N2billion he promised the community.
In inaugurating the Ogbunuabali-Eastern Bypass Road, former Governor of Sokoto State, Senator Aliyu Wamakko noted with delight the leadership capacity that Wike has demonstrated in serving Rivers people.
Wamakko said any well-meaning government should serve to satisfy the yearnings and aspirations of the governed.
“I want to thank you for giving me the honour to be part of your success story, may God encourage you to do more.
“When you asked me to come and commission this project, it was really a welcome development for my community and the people I represent because to me, leadership is about meeting the yearnings and aspirations of the people you govern, and that you have done very well, I commend you for that,” the senator said.
He noted that as a talk and do governor, Wike has done adequately well for his people.
On his part, Rivers State Commissioner for Works, Dr Dakorinama George-Kelly said the Ogbunuabali-Eastern Bypass Road was a single carriage way of 7.3meters wide but it was totally scarified and completely rebuilt.
Today, he noted, the 2.19km long road which has been dualised, has 4.38km width on each side of the lane, 650meters median on the Ogbunuabali axis, 1.5meters median on the Eastern By-pass axis and has 4.38km of drainage length.
“The total length of Ogbunabali dualized road with extension to Eastern Bypass is 2.19km with drainages on both sides up to 4.38km.
“On the Ogbunabali axis, we have median stripe of 750m and at the Eastern Bypass axis we have median strip of 1.5m.
“Sub-structurally, this road was a single carriageway, it was totally rebuilt. 6mm thickness of sand-filling was done, 150mm thickness of cement soil stabilisation was done, and 150mm thickness of stone base was done.
“This road project was completed within the specified time and quality”, the commissioner said.
In his address, the South-South Regional Manager of Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, Juergen Fischer, said they started with the first project of the Wike’s administration, operation zero potholes which culminated into the ongoing urban renewal programme.
According to him, they were delighted working with Wike to achieve his development dreams for Rivers, and thanked him for the opportunity.
Fubara Promises To Maximise Youth Potentials In Rivers
Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has affirmed his administration’s focus in prioritising policies that will maximise the potentials of the youths in the State.
Fubara made this declaration yesterday at the State NYSC permanent orientation camp, Nonwa-Gbam Tai, in Tai Local Government Area during the swearing-in ceremony of 2024 Batch A Stream 1 corps members deployed to Rivers State.
This was contained in a statement by the Head of Press Unit, Office of the Secretary to the State Government, Juliana Masi, yesterday.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary, Special Services Bureau, Office of the Secretary to the State Government, Sir Samson Friday Dede, the governor commended the NYSC Scheme for the positive impacts it is making in the nation’s quest for sustained development.
“My administration will be unwavering and fully focused in supporting the youths in maximizing their potentials”, he said.
He assured the corps members of his administration’s commitment in supporting them to achieve the mandate of uniting and integrating to the nation.
The governor further admonished corps members to take full advantage of the camp programmes and activities to equip themselves to contribute to nation building.
Earlier, Coordinator, NYSC, Rivers State, Mr. George Mfongang, had urged the corps members to be in the forefront of the nation’s development by being hard working, disciplined and morally sound.
He commended them for being passionate and enthusiastic in imbibing the lessons of the orientation exercise.
The Coordinator thanked Governor Fubara for his unflinching commitment in ensuring the security and welfare of corps members in the State especially, the payment of State allowance to them.
A total of 1,585 Corps members made up of 819 males and 766 females took the oath of allegiance at the ceremony that was administered by Justice Ibiwengi Roseline Minakiri.
FG, Cement Manufacturers Agree On N7,000, N8,000 For 50kg Per Bag
The Federal Government and cement manufacturers have agreed on a N7,000 to N8,000 per 50 kg bag price of cement to halt the astronomical rise in the price of the product.
This agreement was part of a deal struck after several hours of meeting held behind closed doors at the headquarters of the Ministry of Works, between the Federal Government and cement manufacturers , in Abuja, yesterday.
The manufacturers agreed to sell a 50kg bag of cement at a retail price between N7,000 and N8,000, depending on location nationwide.
They, however put a caveat that the price drop from the current market price would largely depend on government fulfilling its promised interventions in certain areas of concern to ameliorate critical challenges faced in the industry.
Retail price for cement jumped from N5,000 to N10,000 within one week in the open market, after wholesalers, citing increasing cost of transportation and other variables, made adjustments to the price they sell to retailers.
Retailers in turn transferred the additional cost burden to consumers to stay afloat.
This prompted President Bola Tinubu to order the Ministers of Works, David Umahi and his Trade and Investment counterpart, Dr. Doris Uzoka-Anite. to meet with cement manufacturers to find a solution to the crisis.
Umahi had, while calling for the meeting, expressed the Federal Government’s concern over the development, adding that if the situation wasn’t brought under control, it had the potential of hurting the prosperity agenda of the current administration.
After the meeting, Umahi read out a communique in which he mentioned concerns raised by the manufacturers.
These concerns include: bad roads, smuggling, high cost of energy, and the Forex crisis. This according to the manufacturers were the primary reasons behind the price hike.
He also said the manufacturers which include Dangote Cement PLC, BUA Cement PLC, Larfarge Africa PLC and Cement Producers Association, expressed willingness to reduce the prices going forward.
Representatives of the Federal Government include the Minister of Works and his counterpart in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment.
While reading the communique, Umahi said: “The meeting noted the challenges of the manufacturers like: cost of gas; high import duty on spare parts; bad road network; high foreign exchange; and smuggling of cement to neighbouring nations.
“The government noted the challenges and reacted as follows: Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment to seek some remedies from Mr. President on cost of gas and import duties.”
We Are Hungry, Dying, Ibadan Protesters Tell Tinubu
Thousands of people, on Monday, thronged the major streets of Ibadan in Oyo State, to protest the hardship in the country.
The protesters, who are mainly youths, kept saying they were not out to cause trouble, but to call the attention of all the tiers of governments to the unbearable hardship in the country.
Though they did not use any objects to block the roads, they converged on accesses leading to the University College Hospital, UCH, Ibadan, Sango, Dugbe and Eleyele, thereby blocking vehicular traffic.
They displayed several placards with inscriptions such as ‘Give us good health, End bad governance, End food hike, Open border, End hardship, ‘Is this the renewed hope you promised?’
At intervals, organisers of the protest kept updating the security agents who kept vigilance to arrest anyone who caused problem or hijacked the protest for selfish ends.
During the protest, some schools and banks shut their gates.
The Tide learnt that the protest was convened through the social media.
One of the messages sent by the conveners read, “People should not pass through Mokola roundabout because there will be protest on Monday”.
The message advised that motorists should take alternative routes to their destinations.
A lady who refused to disclose her name, caught the attention of many people with a placard that read: ‘Sanitary pad now costs N4,000; we can’t be using cloth, Please, help us’. Nothing should happen to me. All I’m asking for is my legitimate earning and ease of life.’
Another woman, who identified herself as Mobolaji Inaolaji, one of the coordinators, said: “We want to tell our leaders that things are not right, they should make things easier for us. We are not here to cause violence, things are too costly and people are dying.
“It is our right to protest whether we got permit or not. We have told the security agents that they should arrest whoever causes problem. We are peaceful and law abiding. All we want is to make government know our pains. We will go through most parts of the city.”
Other protesters who were speaking with anger, said: “This problem is too much. Whoever wants to arrest me should come and do so. If we don’t die outside, we’ll die at home.”
After about an hour at Mokola, the protesters headed towards Sango and other parts of the city.
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